September 14, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 09/14/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Bush Tells Nation He Will Begin to Roll Back 'Surge' - President Bush tried to turn a corner in the fractious debate over Iraq last night by ordering the first limited troop withdrawals since voters elected an antiwar Congress last year. But the move did little to appease Democratic leaders, who dismissed it as a token gesture... (READ MORE)

Bomb Kills a Key Sunni Ally of U.S. - BAGHDAD, Sept. 13 -- A charismatic tribal leader who allied himself with the United States and rallied fractious Sunni groups against extremists who claim links to al-Qaeda was killed Thursday afternoon when a bomb exploded outside his house in Anbar province. (READ MORE)
White House: Iraq Slow To Meet Goals - The White House told Congress today that Iraqi leaders have gained little new ground toward meeting key military and political goals, a discouraging assessment a day after President Bush said that progress justifies a large continued U.S. military presence there. (READ MORE)

Greenspan Missed Subprime Dangers - The former Federal Reserve chairman says he failed to see early on that an explosion of mortgages to people with questionable credit histories could endanger the economy. (READ MORE)

Obama Gets Key Black Support - The California Legislative Black Caucus decided yesterday to endorse Sen. Barack Obama, giving him organizing ability and a boost in the biggest prize on the primary map. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Northern Disclosure: Foresight is alot better to have than Hindsight! - I know that all of you or ya'll to the southern readers are probably tired of me thanking everyone for their endless kindness but I will never tire. We at Bad Voo Doo are truly blessed with our support, family and friends. Today in the mail came a very large envelope that was quite heavy. I opened it to find the largest collection of letters. As I tried to get them out of the envelope it exploded in my hands and I thought for sure I had made a larger mess than is already in my cramp living space. (READ MORE)

Me Over There: Back in Purgatory - We returned to the lunar landscape that is Kuwait. (ALMOST HOME!!). A couple days here as we wait for our flight, and we'll be on our way to North Carolina. (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: Democrats: Desperate for defeat - At FOB Corregidor, just outside of Ramadi, I was working on an article in a room filled with soldiers of the 1-9 infantry unit out of Fort Carson, as Army Specialist Stephen Kohn yelled, "Petraeus is going to give his speech to Congress, if you want to see it." Several soldiers looked up from their screens where they had been instant messaging people back home or updating their Myspace profiles. When they realized Kohn said "Congress" after Petreaus, no one bothered to move toward the television set, and after seeing Democrats question the general in charge of the effort in Iraq, I can't blame them. (READ MORE)

Omar: Abu Dsheer, a massacre and a moment of unity - A story of the savagery of al-Qaeda and the compassion of Iraqis took place two days ago in one of the southern suburbs of Baghdad. The story began when the people of Hor Rijab, a village inhabited by mostly Sunni farmers, made up their mind that enough is enough and formed a "battalion" of local fighters to confront al-Qaeda hardly two weeks ago. Al-Qaeda was definitely not happy with this rebellion and on Tuesday morning attacked the village, Radio Sawa has the details: (READ MORE)

Outlaw 13: Danger Room=Classless Jackasses - First of all I recognize that everyone has the right to an opinion. As I stated when I commented about the blog of a deployed soldier, who had soured against the war, he has that doesn't mean however that I have to agree with it. Or sit by while people use pictures of dead/injured soldiers to illustrate their point. Which brings me to these clowns and their story, "2 of 7 Soldier-Critics Dead". (READ MORE)

Desert Flier: Sheikh Sattar assassination - Visionary. Loyalist. Genuine Leader. These are just a few of the adjectives I have heard used to describe the man who was responsible for bringing peace to Ramadi more than any other. Sheikh Sattar was the mastermind and visionary leader who created and lead the way to the Sunni Awakening and was a top official of the Anbar Salvation Council. (READ MORE)

Badger 6: By The Numbers - Task Force Pathfinder and Team Badger are no longer responsible responsible for Route Clearance operations in Western Iraq. All of Team Badger should be safely out of Iraq. Here is what they accomplished. To summarize in numbers Team Badger accomplished the following: Missions Performed – 647; Improvised Explosive Devices Reduced – 458; Kilometers Traveled – 51135; The Soldiers of Team Badger were nominated for or received the following awards. (READ MORE)

Acute Politics: A True Martyr - Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu al-Rishawi, the founder and leader Anbar Awakening, was killed yesterday afternoon by a bomb planted near his home. Two of his bodyguards were also killed, and others, including a nephew, were wounded. Initial reports indicate that al-Qaeda terrorists took advantage of Sheik Sattar's gesture of charity at the start of holy month of Ramadan, infiltrating a gathering of local poor at the home of the Sheik in order to plant the bomb that killed him. (READ MORE)

Publius Pundit: Live from Lebanon - As of today, Publius Pundit has its own fearless reporter bringing us firsthand information from the Middle East. Our own Manuela Paraipan reports, live from Lebanon in downtown Beirut: “The more you think you know about Lebanon the less you do. If from outside one tends to see the situation in black and white, from inside there are definitely several grey nuances.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Neptunus Lex: Bringing a pocket knife to a gunfight - I’m no sojer, but I understand it to be pretty much axiomatic that massing lightly armed infantry forces during daylight hours in open terrain when your adversary has access to both artillery fires and air support is a pretty good way to find yourself flatfooted in the beaten zone. And yet, on both sides of the Afghan/Pakistani border, “militants” seem to have a hard time grasping the concept: (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: 9/11 Revenge Fantasies - No, not the kind that 9/11 survivors, their families and fellow citizens might have. The kind some Euros and other ostensibly civilized people had when we were attacked. Jens Blauenfeldt of Danmarks Radio, remembering his 9/11 reaction: “Hey, it’s the Americans; now they are getting spanked. That serves them right … finally someone is striking back.” (READ MORE)

Ian Schwartz: (Video) Michael Steele on ‘Betray Us’ Ad - STEELE: This is not about right or left. This is about right and wrong. And what has said and what they’re doing is wrong. And the Democratic Leadership had better get its act together and put those types of organizations that they embrace when it fits right and feels right, but grows silent at moments like this. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Video) “Why should Americans vote for someone who can be fooled by George Bush?” - From the HuffPo/Slate/Yahoo presidential mash-up that wasn’t. Exactly the tone of question you’d expect from Arianna’s outfit and delivered by exactly the sort of gent you’d expect them to employ. Hillary changes the subject quickly to the issue of preemptive war, which isn’t what Maher asked her, but she does — as she must — acknowledge briefly that it wasn’t just Bush claiming Saddam had WMDs. From her floor speech in support of the AUMF on October 10, 2002: (READ MORE)

See-Dubya: Myths about Myths on Terrorism - Princeton Prof Alan Krueger lists five “urban legends” about terrorism for the Washington Post. Here’s Myth Number 3: “3. Terrorists are likely to cross into the United States from Mexico.” Hmm, that’s funny. That’s not what this guy says: Texas’ top homeland security official said today that terrorists with ties to Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaida have been arrested crossing the Texas border with Mexico in recent years. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Canadian official refuses Canadian health care - The woman who would-be prime minister of Canada had her breast-cancer surgery done in? A. Ottawa, B. Toronto, C. Montreal, D. Alberta, E. California. Of course Liberal PM candidate Belinda Stronach went to California. The Canadian liberal elite (she is a billionaire’s daughter) do not wait in line like commoners for Canadian health care. The liberal elites travel to the United States for their medical treatment. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Hsustock: The Definition Of Insanity - If the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over despite consistent failure, then the American judiciary needs a shrink when it comes to Norman Hsu. Despite having run out on his sentencing for a nolo contendere plea on fraud 15 years ago, and despite having jumped bail when finally brought to justice for jumping bail before, a Colorado judge set a $5 million bail for Hsu: (READ MORE)

Uncle Jimbo: NY Times- Standby rate for fellow travelers - K-Lo at NRO points out the latest defense of the "fellow traveler" discount that the NY Times gave MoveOn is that it was a Standby rate. Hmmmm, once again I worked for Capital Newspapers and sold political and every other type of advertising for them. I am fully conversant in the way newspapers sell ads. A standby price for this full page ad in the front section would mean that they not only couldn't sell the space at full price, but none of the hundreds of commissioned sales folks could sell it at all. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The $40 Million Dollar Man - Was this Norman Hsu's source of money? The New York Times reports that: “New details emerged yesterday about the finances of the mysterious Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu, with the revelation that a private equity fund representing about 100 investors in New York gave him $40 million this year for a loan pool he said would generate a high rate of return. ...” (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Hsu Got What? - You have got to be kidding me that a judge thought that $5 million bail is sufficient to keep Norman Hsu from running again. He's already gone on the lam twice. The first time was to avoid being sent to prison for grand theft in 1992, and he was a fugitive for 15 years. He was only arrested again after being at the side of Sen. Hillary Clinton and other leading Democrats in the past month. When he was supposed to appear for a bail hearing, he ran a second time. Hsu was captured in Colorado after he apparently attempted suicide on an Amtrak train. (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: No Thanks, You Can Keep Them - On the radio the other night, I heard a fellow being interviewed -- I believe it was Paul Robeson II, the son of the legendary black communist singer and actor. Mr. Robeson was discussing his father's embrace of communism and Stalinism, and putting it in a "proper" historical context. His notion is that Stalin was a creature of the right-wing, an imperialist and an heir to the Tsars. Likewise, Mao was also a right-winger and a modern-day Emperor -- and both were traitors and perverters of Marxism. (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Democrats and Their Words - The anti war Hillary (as opposed to pro war Hillary) showed up to speak at General Petraeus (none of them speak to him) and she said that it would take “a willing suspension of disbelief” to accept the General’s assessment of the situation in Iraq. The General has been on the ground in Iraq for a bit longer than a photo op or two with the troops and he is a leader, unlike Hillary who people follow out of morbid curiosity. It is interesting that Rodham would question the veracity of the statements made by a hero while ignoring those things that really take “a willing suspension of disbelief” such as: (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Sheikh Sattar, leader of the Anbar Awakening, killed in bombing - The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has begun with a grim attack against the leader of the movement that actively opposes al Qaeda in Iraq. Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, the founder of the Anbar Awakening movement, was murdered in a car bomb attack outside of his home in Ramadi. The Associated Press provides the details of the assassination. (READ MORE)

Dale Franks: Laffer Curve - Jon's Post below mentions the Laffer Curve, and states we're on the left side of the curve. One commenter takes strong exception to this, stating bluntly, "We're indisputably operating on the RIGHT side of the Laffer Curve. Not on the left." Oh, really. Well, let's take a look at that, shall we? First, for review, let's look at the Laffer Curve itself. (READ MORE)

McQ: Iran, Russia and the Battle of the big bombs - Russia announced yesterday it had developed the mother of all conventional bombs. Au contrair says LTG James McInerney, back to the drawing board Ruskies. The U.S. has a 14-ton super bomb more destructive than the vacuum bomb just tested by Russia: “McInerney said the U.S. has "a new massive ordnance penetrator that's 30,000 pounds, that really penetrates ... Ahmadinejad has nothing in Iran that we can't penetrate." He also said the new Russian bomb was not a "penetrator." (READ MORE)

Pros and Cons: The President’s Speech Was Pretty Good - Of course, I generally like his speeches, especially on foreing policy. Here is the prepared text and by the time most of you read this, NPR will have updated the link with the audio, which presently is available on the home site but lacks a link I can stick in here. Senator Reed (not the one from Nevada) made an OK speech in rebuttal until he trotted out the canard about “not enough money for veterans” and ignored the little problem that fightins al Qaeda is mostly what our troops in Iraq are doing right now. (READ MORE)

DRJ: Straight Talk about Border Security - Texas’ top homeland security official, Steve McCraw, affirmed that terrorists have been arrested in Texas after illegally crossing the US-Mexico border: “Texas’ top homeland security official said today that terrorists with ties to Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaida have been arrested crossing the Texas border with Mexico in recent years. “Has there ever been anyone linked to terrorism arrested?” Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw said in a speech to the North Texas Crime Commission. “Yes, there was.”(READ MORE)

Cassandra: The Lion Will Come No More - A man is dead. At dawn, in the desert, the women will weep for him. In normal times they would wash his body and wrap it for burial, as women have done for generations. But these are not normal times. Not a trace of him remains. His spirit soars on the wind. His enemies cannot touch him now, but still the jackals gather, filthy creatures. (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl: Democrats And The Surrender Myth - Allah has video coming of the President's speech. As for the Democrat response, it might have been helpful if someone had told Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) to lose the hey, it's my 15 minutes smirk he displayed at the close of his remarks. As for the actual speech, did he remind anyone else of Elmer Fudd? Apparently, Instapundit didn't think much of it, either. Without jumping down into the political and numerical back and forth of our future in Iraq just now, can anyone name one instance in history where a Nation and its military came away stronger and more secure after a humiliating, non-strategic retreat? (READ MORE)

Pete Hegseth: I sure hope he’s right - After watching President Bush's speech tonight, I immediately thought two things: First, I admire the fact that he has the courage and resolve to complete the mission in Iraq. It’s not an easy stance—and there have been huge mistakes—but it’s important…and he gets that. Second, for the sake of this country, I hope and pray he’s right. (READ MORE)

W. Thomas Smith Jr.: Reader Regrets Not Having Served in Vietnam - Lots of e-mail like this (I'll post one or two others this afternoon). Notice, it's not so much how this reader feels about the nobleness of service to country, but his apparent, personal shame at not having answered the call when his country — right or wrong — was at war. I've actually heard this before from men who were of the age for service during the Vietnam War and skirted the draft. I'll get to a famous one in a moment. First, the e-mail: (READ MORE)

David Bernstein: Brzezinski and Obama - Barack Obama has been criticized by pro-Israel forces (undoubtedly egged on by the Hillary team) for naming Zbignew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter's National Security advisor, as one of his foreign policy gurus. Ezra Klein links to, and endorses, a post by one Matthew Duss, relying on a story from the Politico website, suggesting that the "Israel lobby," writ large, and Alan Dershowitz personally, are upset about Brzezinski because he wrote an essay last Summer defending Mearsheimer and Walt’s “Israel Lobby” essay. (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Real American Patriots - For the Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, currently deployed in Afghanistan at the Korengal Outpost or KOP as it’s commonly known, life isn’t easy. They’re located in a remote area of the mountains in the middle of the Korengal Valley. Across the mountains, just a short distance away is Pakistan, where it’s believed that al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other foreign fighters have gathered, re-group, train and re-supply for their almost constant assaults into Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

The Barnyard: Screaming Lies From The Moonbat Blogs: This Is Rich - I saw this story about an alleged dust up between Adm. Fallon, CentCom Commander and Gen. Petraeus, MNF-I Commander on that regressive socialist website FireDog Lake last night while helping Donald do some research. Dean Barnett picked it up this morning from Daily Kos and Think Progress and reported that it was from an anonymous source with alleged access to someone familiar with the reports. In other words if you don't like the news make some up as Dean put it. And you though the Moveon.Org ad was something. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. There is no hole so deep that the modern left considers it unnecessary to keep digging. In other words, the demonization of David Petraeus has just begun. (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: So Much for Gripping Authenticity... - I’ve been talking for months about Nick Broomfield’s fictional account of the Haditha incident. Like Brian DePalma, Broomfield has taken an actual event and stretched it so it is not even in the same zip code of the events on November 19, 2005. Despite the fact that 5 Article 32 Hearings have been completed with testimony on the record, Reuter’s entertainment reporter, Michael Rechtshaffen, touts the movie’s “gripping authenticity”. With its dialogue largely improvised by many who had seen extensive combat in Iraq, "Haditha" has a gripping authenticity lacking in other similarly themed dramas. Just reading Rechtshaffen’s description of the movie tells quite a different story… (READ MORE)

Cool, Calm and Collected: The Last Time I Saw Him. - One year ago, I decided I should just get up, it's not like I was sleeping anyway. I sobbed as I got ready to go, then I went to Jim's house to pick him up. Of course, he left his truck here, he wouldn't be needing it. The whole way there, it was nothing but "I love you" and "I'm going to miss you" and he'd ask "Are you going to be okay?" I'd always nod my head, but I didn't really know if I would be okay. I remember closing my eyes for a minute and holding his hand, and just wishing it didn't have to be true. I just wanted to wake up from this nightmare called "deployment." (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico: Big Surprise - So, was anyone surprised over the last few days when the Democrats attacked Gen. Petraeus' assessment of the situation in Iraq? If you were, you've had your head in the sand for quite a while. Last Saturday in his radio address Harry Reid basically said the exact things about Petraeus' testimony as he did AFTER he heard it. For months conservative commentators, including me, have said that because of the reduction in violence in Iraq (about 35% according to Petraeus) that Democrats would start moving the target from violence to political benchmarks. (READ MORE)

Wide Awake Cafe: The Sun Never Sets? - "It is my sad duty to report on the failure of our military intervention for this century. In the first years since the great tragedy that befell us we have seen our country’s leader condone the massive failure of our own military forces. In battle after battle we have lost brave men and yes, women, all to the folly of our president. Therefore, it is with great regret that I recommend the full withdrawal of all military forces back to the United States. Signed, Harry Reid and the Democrat Party (after their new review of the time traveling machine developed at MIT.) 14, March, 1943." Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, Guadalcanal, Coral Sea, Bataan, Corregidor, Battle of the Atlantic (loss of merchant shipping to U-Boats), Battle of the Java Sea, Kasserine Pass and others. These battles were not defined as defeats but described to the American people as heroic defenses of freedom. Only one of these battles was fought on American soil. The rest were in foreign countries of which the Democrat Party of today would argue were none of our business. (READ MORE)

The Torch: Privatized logistics support and the CF - Dave Perry, of Dalhousie's Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, the Canadian Naval Review, and the informative and under-appreciated online forum Broadsides, recently wrote a research paper on a topic not covered by a single other student of Canadian defence issues: the CF's reliance upon and utilization of private military firms (PMF's), or "contractors" as they're sometimes known. It's entitled "Contractors In Kandahar, Eh? Canada's 'Real' Commitment To Afghanistan," and it's worth a read if you're interested in how caps in personnel and budget numbers have necessitated the use of PMF's, while failing to anticipate some of the repercussions of that trend. (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: The real meaning of "No war for oil" - "No war for oil," meaning "fight no war to get oil," has becoming something of a lefty bumper sticker idea, the clear implication being that the invasion of Iraq and its subsequent occupation were a nefarious plot to grab Iraq's oil for the benefit of Americans, or even specific American friends of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. This, along with the idea that we invaded Iraq at Israel's behest, are necessary accusations if one's goal is to charge the hawks not merely with having made a bad policy choice, but for having made that choice for illegitimate or immoral reasons. (READ MORE)

The Monkey Tennis Centre: Syria goes blah-blah over Israeli strike - A consensus seems to be emerging that the targets Israeli jets hit last week were arms supplies destined for Hezbollah, although as Scoop 86, blogging at In From The Cold, writes, there's also a lot of talk about clandestine nuclear cooperation between Syria and North Korea. (READ MORE)

Pirate's Cove: TB Friday Featuring The Surrender Monkey: Reid Surrenders To 2000 Kooks - Remember Ted Olson? The Solicitor General, whose wife was killed on the plane that flew into the Pentagon (which is not mentioned till near the end of the story)? Well, as I am sure you know by now that President Bush might nominate him for AG. Which begets Senate Democrats will block Ted Olson from succeeding Alberto Gonzales as attorney general if President Bush nominates him, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday. "Ted Olson will not be confirmed," Reid, D-Nev., said in a written statement. "I intend to do everything I can to prevent him from being confirmed as the next attorney general." I guess it is only left wing nutjobs who have "absolute moral authority." Reid couldn’t even wait for Olson to be nominated before he decided he would smear him. (READ MORE)

Pejman Yousefzadeh: How NOT To Understand The Reconstruction Effort In Iraq -
Comes now Oliver Goodenough to inform all and sundry that when it comes to military and political analysis, he is anything but. This column presents such a hash of an argument that it boggles the mind: “Economics professors have a standard game they use to demonstrate how apparently rational decisions can create a disastrous result. They call it a ‘dollar auction.’ The rules are simple. The professor offers a dollar for sale to the highest bidder, with only one wrinkle: the second-highest bidder has to pay up on their losing bid as well.” I love economics and economic analysis as much as the next person--perhaps more--but this is absurd. First of all, if you are going to apply the dollar auction analogy, you have to ask what is our "dollar" in Iraq? (READ MORE)

Kimberly A. Strassel: Political Surge - Had anyone suggested six weeks ago that the GOP would emerge from the Petraeus hearings on the political front-foot, they'd have been laughed at all the way to Anbar. There's a lesson here for Republicans, in particular those most worried about how Iraq will play in next year's elections: Good military policy is good politics. That wisdom was a hard sell this spring, when the news out of Iraq was glum, the war supplemental debate raged, and dozens of Republicans were threatening to call it quits. (READ MORE)

Peggy Noonan: Just the Facts - We are at a new point in the American experience of the Iraq war. It is also a decisive one: We have to decide, now, what to do. Stay. Go. Stay in a certain way, or at a certain size. But the mood of the moment, the mood of many Americans, is at odds with one of the demands of decision making. Big decisions require a certain spirit, a certain do or die--the faith and wildness to roll the dice, throw 'em, watch and roll again. (READ MORE)

WSJ: Review & Outlook: Borking Mr. Olson - Not content with having run Attorney General Alberto Gonzales out of town, the Democratic posse on Capitol Hill is already gunning for his replacement--even before he's nominated. More preposterous still, they're disguising this pre-emptive borking as a plea for a "consensus" choice. The breadth of this proposed condominium appears to be on the narrow side, however, running from Harry Reid to Pat Leahy, and perhaps stretching all the way to Chuck Schumer. Revealingly, this "consensus" doesn't seem to have room for Ted Olson, the former Solicitor General who is merely one of America's finest lawyers. (READ MORE)

The Foxhole: Kucinich kisses up to the enemy - In another blatant violation of the Logan Act, (ala Pelosi) Dennis Kucinich took a trip to Syria to give aid and comfort to enemies of the United States. The squinty little shit-for-brains gave an interview on Damascus TV, cemented his support for America’s enemies, and extolled Syrian President Bashar Assad, one of the most blatant perpetrators of terrorism in the region. Said Kucinich: “[It] was a very good meeting. It was a meeting where President Assad showed a real desire to play a role in helping to create a peaceful settlement of the conditions in Iraq, as well as a grander approach towards creating peace. So it was a very important meeting, and I felt honored to have the chance to speak with him.” (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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